Dillon Gee was anxious. He has spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues, but the righthander nervously took the mound at Citi Field Wednesday night like it was his major-league debut. It was not the first time the Gee had missed time. He was shut down for the second half of 2012 due to a blood clot in his right arm and had overcome injuries before.

Still, on Wednesday night, returning to a team in a crucial series with a division rival, Gee was nervous coming off nearly two months on the disabled list with a strained right lat.

“I was super, super anxious before the game. It felt like my first game all over again, like I was making my debut all over again,” Gee said. “It seems like I’ve been away forever.”

There was no need for nerves, as Gee was efficient for seven-plus innings in the Mets’ 4-1 victory at Citi Field.

The Mets (42-49) won their season-high fourth straight and have taken the first three of the four-game series against the Braves (49-42). Atlanta lost its fourth straight to drop out of first place in the NL East, falling a game behind the Nationals. The Mets are eight games back, but showing some fight, Terry Collins said.

“They know how big this is, they know it’s very big,” Collins said. “If you let the Braves beat you down here, it’s a long climb. We still have a long way to go, but right now we’ve got a game tomorrow to worry about.”

Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in runs and Travis d’Arnaud hit a two-run homer in the seventh to support Gee, who held the Braves to one run on six hits. Gee also walked one and struck out four in his first major-league start since May 10.

After a leadoff walk to B.J. Upton — whom d’Arnaud gunned down attempting to steal second — Gee retired 15 of his next 16 batters.

But then in the sixth, pitcher Ervin Santana beat out a grounder to third with two outs and scored on a double to center by Upton, who tried to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out by Nieuwenhuis to keep it a 1-1 game.